By Brad Friedman on 11/15/2010, 6:06pm PT  

I'm loath to even spend time on this jerk, particularly as I'm busy working on a couple of deadlines about things and people that actually matter. But I've got to take just a moment to flag the details on the latest victim of convicted federal criminal and Rightwing creep James O'Keefe and his employer/pimp/propagandist Andrew Breitbart. See Bob Braun's column at yesterday's Star-Ledger for the full details, but in short, the latest victim of the continuing O'Keefe/Breitbart assault on decency in this nation was a New Jersey special education teacher named Alissa Ploshnick.

In 1997 Ploshnick was lauded by President Clinton after risking her life to save those of a dozen school kids in Passaic where "She threw herself in front of a careening van to protect her students and landed in the hospital with broken ribs, a fractured wrist, a badly bruised pelvis and glass cuts in her eyes."

As Braun notes, "She could have died." This year, however, she was lured into another deceptively edited, hidden video "exposé" created by the criminal and serial liar O'Keefe...

As usual, the video was hyped by Breitbart (and his Fox "News" pals, naturally). And, also as usual, the words of Ploshnick as heard in the edited video were taken out of context to appear far more nefarious than they actually were. All that, after a seemingly nice person purchased her a drink at a bar where she was attending a conference of the New Jersey Education Association to learn more about special-education law. The guy then encouraged her to give her opinions on the teacher's union as he was secretly taping.

NJ Gov. Chris Christie has lauded the video, in that it has helped him in his own political attack against NJ's teacher's union.

Just as Shirley Sherrod and innocent ACORN employees before her, Ploshnick was disciplined after the release of the video as officials scrambled to save face before all the facts were known. At least she was only suspended, as opposed to fired.

"I felt like I was raped," Ploshnick told Braun. She also tells the columnist that "she spent $9,000 of her own money on school supplies for her students, made sure a child in her class made his dental appointments by bringing him there and was just asked to be a godparent to the child of another student."

All just more collateral damage in the O'Keefe/Breitbart/Fox "News" war on America, of course.

Kudos to Braun for, finally, describing O'Keefe as what he actually is: a "pretend journalist and admitted criminal." Writes Braun:

O’Keefe made Ploshnick, a teacher who saved the lives of children, an unwitting star in a web-based movie, a phony exposé of nothing but the cynicism of ideologically driven pseudo-journalists. All O’Keefe managed to do was ruin the reputation of a woman who should be honored as a hero — and was, not only by Clinton but also by Montel Williams and Oprah Winfrey, a fan of Gov. Chris Christie’s.

See Braun's column in full here...